Throughout my childhood, I was faced with many traumatic challenges with family and friends including murder, addiction, mental health challenges, gambling, domestic violence and various forms of abuse. I lost hope and assumed that this lifestyle was the norm. I felt alone and isolated.
Then I saw an internet advertisement for “Recovery Coaches at PRO-ACT” in Philadelphia. I thought that maybe with some training and support, I could use my life experiences as a warning to help others. So I signed-up to learn about recovery coaching.
I completed the training and became a volunteer for PRO-ACT. I learned that recovery is possible, and that I was not alone in how I feel. I met other individuals, staff members and volunteers who empathized with me and provided me with resources and guidance. I learned how to utilize my experiences to empower others. I practiced my skills by assisting PRO-ACT in their service projects such as MLK Day of Service, Annual Holiday Dinner, Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet and the Recovery Walks! Planning Committee.
Through the help of PRO-ACT, I now work for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania as a Recovery Coach. I assist those with severe mental health challenges to identify and develop recovery-oriented goals and use their supports to increase their success in community integration and inclusion. I am also a training instructor and facilitator, as well as a website designer for several recovery organizations. I am the founder and owner of a website and graphic design company.
I am also resilient and very thankful for all those who helped me along the way. I never dreamed that an advertisement for Recovery Coaches would lead to all this, but I am glad it did.
Stacie Leap, CPS, FPS